Users' Experiences With Online Access to Electronic Health Records in Mental and Somatic Health Care: Cross-Sectional Study

Bo Wang*, Eli Kristiansen, Asbjørn Johansen Fagerlund, Paolo Zanaboni, Maria Hägglund, Annika Bärkås, Sari Kujala, Åsa Cajander, Charlotte Blease, Anna Kharko, Isto Huvila, Bridget Kane, Monika Alise Johansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Patient-accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs) hold promise for empowering patients, but their impact may vary between mental and somatic health care. Medical professionals and ethicists have expressed concerns about the potential challenges of PAEHRs for patients, especially those receiving mental health care. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate variations in the experiences of online access to electronic health records (EHRs) among persons receiving mental and somatic health care, as well as to understand how these experiences and perceptions vary among those receiving mental health care at different levels of point of care. METHODS: Using Norwegian data from the NORDeHEALTH 2022 Patient Survey, we conducted a cross-sectional descriptive analysis of service use and perceptions of perceived mistakes, omissions, and offensive comments by mental and somatic health care respondents. Content analysis was used to analyze free-text responses to understand how respondents experienced the most serious errors in their EHR. RESULTS: Among 9505 survey participants, we identified 2008 mental health care respondents and 7086 somatic health care respondents. A higher percentage of mental health care respondents (1385/2008, 68.97%) reported that using PAEHR increased their trust in health care professionals compared with somatic health care respondents (4251/7086, 59.99%). However, a significantly larger proportion (P<.001) of mental health care respondents (976/2008, 48.61%) reported perceiving errors in their EHR compared with somatic health care respondents (1893/7086, 26.71%). Mental health care respondents also reported significantly higher odds (P<.001) of identifying omissions (758/2008, 37.75%) and offensive comments (729/2008, 36.3%) in their EHR compared with the somatic health care group (1867/7086, 26.35% and 826/7086, 11.66%, respectively). Mental health care respondents in hospital inpatient settings were more likely to identify errors (398/588, 67.7%; P<.001) and omissions (251/588, 42.7%; P<.001) than those in outpatient care (errors: 422/837, 50.4% and omissions: 336/837, 40.1%; P<.001) and primary care (errors: 32/100, 32% and omissions: 29/100, 29%; P<.001). Hospital inpatients also reported feeling more offended (344/588, 58.5%; P<.001) by certain content in their EHR compared with respondents in primary (21/100, 21%) and outpatient care (287/837, 34.3%) settings. Our qualitative findings showed that both mental and somatic health care respondents identified the most serious errors in their EHR in terms of medical history, communication, diagnosis, and medication. CONCLUSIONS: Most mental and somatic health care respondents showed a positive attitude toward PAEHRs. However, mental health care respondents, especially those with severe and chronic concerns, expressed a more critical attitude toward certain content in their EHR compared with somatic health care respondents. A PAEHR can provide valuable information and foster trust, but it requires careful attention to the use of clinical terminology to ensure accurate, nonjudgmental documentation, especially for persons belonging to health care groups with unique sensitivities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere47840
JournalJOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • electronic health record
  • health data
  • online access to electronic health records
  • online records access
  • patient access
  • patient empowerment
  • patient portal
  • patient-accessible electronic health record
  • psychiatry
  • user perspective

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